On This Day
3114 BC – The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, used by several pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, notably the Maya, begins.
The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar is a non-repeating, vigesimal (base-20) and base-18 calendar used by several pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures, most notably the Maya. For this reason, it is often known as the Maya (or Mayan) Long Count calendar. Using a modified vigesimal tally, the Long Count calendar identifies a day by counting the number of days passed since a mythical creation date that corresponds to August 11, 3114 BCE in the Proleptic Gregorian calendar.[n 1] The Long Count calendar was widely used on monuments.
Born On This Day
1897 – Enid Blyton, English author, poet, and educator (d. 1968)
Enid Mary Blyton (11 August 1897 – 28 November 1968) was an English children’s writer whose books have been among the world’s best-sellers since the 1930s, selling more than 600 million copies. Blyton’s books are still enormously popular, and have been translated into 90 languages; her first book, Child Whispers, a 24-page collection of poems, was published in 1922. She wrote on a wide range of topics including education, natural history, fantasy, mystery, and biblical narratives and is best remembered today for her Noddy, Famous Five, and Secret Seven series.
Following the commercial success of her early novels such as Adventures of the Wishing-Chair (1937) and The Enchanted Wood (1939), Blyton went on to build a literary empire, sometimes producing fifty books a year in addition to her prolific magazine and newspaper contributions. Her writing was unplanned and sprang largely from her unconscious mind; she typed her stories as events unfolded before her. The sheer volume of her work and the speed with which it was produced led to rumours that Blyton employed an army of ghost writers, a charge she vigorously denied.
Blyton’s work became increasingly controversial among literary critics, teachers and parents from the 1950s onwards, because of the alleged unchallenging nature of her writing and the themes of her books, particularly the Noddy series. Some libraries and schools banned her works, which the BBC had refused to broadcast from the 1930s until the 1950s because they were perceived to lack literary merit. Her books have been criticised as being elitist, sexist, racist, xenophobic and at odds with the more liberal environment emerging in post-war Britain, but they have continued to be best-sellers since her death in 1968.
Blyton felt she had a responsibility to provide her readers with a strong moral framework, so she encouraged them to support worthy causes. In particular, through the clubs she set up or supported, she encouraged and organised them to raise funds for animal and paediatric charities. The story of Blyton’s life was dramatised in a BBC film entitled Enid, featuring Helena Bonham Carter in the title role and first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Four in 2009. There have also been several adaptations of her books for stage, screen and television.
By Whitney Kimball: Arvonne Fraser, Who Tirelessly Battled Sexism in Government, Has Died at 92
Arvonne Skelton Fraser (September 1, 1925 – August 7, 2018) was an American women’s rights advocate and political campaigner. She held the position of Senior Fellow Emerita at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, and from 1993–1994 was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. She also managed the political campaigns of her husband Donald M. Fraser during his career, from 1954 to 1979.
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By Elizabeth Werth: Fighter Pilot, Racing Driver, Prisoner of War, Transgender Pioneer: The Incredible Story of Roberta Cowell
Roberta Elizabeth Marshall Cowell (8 April 1918 – 11 October 2011) was a racing driver and Second World War fighter pilot. She was the first known British trans woman to undergo sex reassignment surgery.
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Yes, this is an article about ranch dressing. And yes, ranch dressing was invented at Hidden Valley Ranch. Here’s some stuff you didn’t know about ranch.
It started in the Alaskan bush, where businessman Steve Henson—who played cook on top of his main gig as a plumber—came up with an idea to help calm down the workers annoyed that they had to eat salad.
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